Archbishop Arshad: The Pakistani Church praying for earthquake victims
The updated toll is 50 dead. Caritas Pakistan and the Islamabad-Rawalpindi diocesan office are visiting the affected areas and bringing assistance to the wounded. Head of the Pakistani bishops: "Let us pray for life to return to normal".
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - The loss of lives, the wounded and the destruction of private property "are a great tragedy," says Msgr. Joseph Arshad, Archbishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi and president of the Pakistani Bishops' Conference.
He has expressed "profound sadness" for those who lost their lives during the earthquake two days ago that struck the northeastern part of Pakistan.
The archbishop states: "I express my heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this tragedy and pray especially for the repose of the deceased, the healing of the injured and the consolation of all who grieve the loss of their loved ones”.
On September 24, a quake with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale struck the Mirpur district, on the border with India. The president of the Pakistani bishops reports that "the powerful earthquake shook several areas in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal capital. The quake was also felt here in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree, Jhelum, Charsadda, Swat, Khyber, Abbottabad, Bajaur, Nowshera, Mansehra, Battagram, Torghar and Kohitan ".
According to official data, the prelate continues, the toll "is 50 dead and more than 500 injured. Several hospitals are under emergency. The National Authority for the management of disasters (Ndma) and the provincial authority for the management of disasters (Pdma) received the order to conduct the rescue operations and gather information on the damage caused by the tremor ".
While the rescue teams have reached the affected areas, he adds, "we as Catholic Church through Caritas Pakistan together with diocesan Caritas unit of Islamabad-Rawalpindi Are actively Involve In visiting the affected areas and In helping the victims”.
Archbishop Arshad states in conclusion: "In offering encouragement to the civil authorities and those involved in the search and rescue efforts as they assist the victims of this disaster, I also invite all others to pray for Pakistan and to assist in whatever way possible to bring the life to the normal". (A.C.F.)